Trends & Breakout
An important measure of the quality of a pattern is the trend that precedes it. It does not matter whether the trend is bullish or bearish, but the consistency and duration of the initial trend partly determines the well-formedness of the pattern.
The pattern is said to have "broken out" once it has crossed either the support or resistance line. If the pattern broke out in the same direction as the preceding trend, it is called a continuation pattern. If breakout is in the opposite direction, it is called a reversal pattern.
For example, a pattern described as Bullish Reversal Triangle would mean that it is a bullish signal, that is, the breakout was through the resistance line, upward. Because it is a reversal pattern that means the preceding trend was in the opposite direction as the breakout, that is, the preceding trend was bearish.